Archives: creativity

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Tradition, multimodal composition & Oscar Wilde

In March 2013, John Caruso posted a two-part series on digital democracy. Those posts prompted a lively conversation here at the Marylhurst blog about digital citizenship, digital writing, multimedia, co-learning and participatory culture. In response to this ongoing dialogue, Tiffany Timperman offers her perspective on composition and multimodality.

by Tiffany Timperman

“The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.” – Oscar Wilde, “The Preface,” The Picture of Dorian Gray

I want to consider the ways that multimodality can enrich composition: process and product. Traditional composition focuses on alphabetic text styled according to a rhetorical mode of writing (narrative, descriptive, argumentative, expository), purpose (to convince, persuade, entertain, inform), audience, and disciplinary guideline (MLA, APA, Chicago Style). Multimodal composition incorporates, as the term suggests, multiple modes to create a whole, and in the sense that we now have new and emerging technologies and materials, composition has increased potential and design elements to draw from.

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